State of the nation: what can South Africans expect to hear?

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to focus on the country's embattled state-owned entities and unemployment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to focus on the country's embattled state-owned entities and unemployment.


While the country waits for President Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver the state of the nation address (Sona) in parliament on Thursday, chats about what to expect from his speech have sparked a heated debate online.

Ramaphosa is expected to address the country's embattled state-owned entities (SOEs), such as Eskom and SAA, and unemployment.

Social media users, including Movement for One South Africa (Mosa) leader Mmusi Maimane, said they need more than empty promises.

As South Africa prepares itself for Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona), we take a look at South Africa's four prominent presidents and what they achieved. Through statistics, we compare each democratically elected president's promises to the subsequent realities.


The founder of The People’s Dialogue, Herman Mashaba, said he would boycott Sona.

He said nothing new could be expected from the event.

“What tough talk will we hear about our ailing state-owned entities while we continue to sink billions into these failing businesses? How many jobs will we be told will be created in the year ahead?

“Watching this bizarre ritual, I find myself asking the question: how does any of this benefit the people of our country? I am still searching for an answer.”

Possible disruptions

The EFF said it would continue with its plans to disrupt Sona, despite parliament's presiding officers warning against it.

The red beret's leader, Julius Malema, said they will use Sona to call for the removal of public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan for misleading the nation about load-shedding.

“When Cyril starts, we start! That’s how it’s going to roll. When he starts speaking, we are speaking also about Pravin going. We are not going to be ruled here by Pravin. It must come to an end,” said Malema.

He made a similar threat in January. Parliament responded that it is “not losing any sleep” over the EFF's Sona plans.

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